Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: colin white
I used to think I was a jinx. It’s a suspicion that still pops into my head now and again. Like tonight. Tonight I did something I have never done before: left a Sharks game before the final horn. I have never walked out on a game… except once, but that was football and I hate football, it was miserable weather, the seats were horribly uncomfortable… and I hate football. But I’ve never left a hockey game before.
It wasn’t because the players were standing around looking like they were going to start fighting, which I figured would be followed by nothing but five more disappointing minutes of failure. No, I had started thinking about leaving before that, and not because they were losing 4-1 or I thought I wanted to get a jump on the traffic. A few minutes either way makes no difference to my drive, and it isn’t like me to walk out when things look dire.
It felt uncomfortably warm in San Jose, even before noon. After the dramatic storms seen here during Game 1 and in St. Louis for Game 2, a windless warm day seems ominous. It’s hard-to-breathe weather. Or maybe it’s just me.
Looking back to those last regular season games against the LA Kings, it sure looks like the Kings won by losing. We’ve only had the two games so far, but it feels like the Sharks are so far behind already.
Todd McLellan hasn’t said he will change the lineup for tonight’s game, but Kevin Kurz tweeted that Colin White left the ice early. I saw some fan tweets during and after Saturday’s game saying White could be an option if the Sharks anticipated any more fighting. I’m not sure I follow that. I remember a game where McGinn said he jumped in so White would not have to fight. I’m sure he can do it but I don’t think it’s his thing anymore. More likely, McLellan felt that the Demers-Braun pair was overwhelmed. I’m not sure I believe White will be an improvement there but who knows. Maybe Murray will come out. I don’t think that’s likely, I don’t like what it would imply, but it could happen.
The Sharks skated for a fairly long time today, as could be expected after a day off and with no game until Thursday. There’s also those 15 things they have to work on, some of which are detailed at Working the Corners. Unlike that skate, this will be short.
It took a really long time for anything like lines to appear through a jumble of drills, but I waited them out. Maybe I just waited until I started seeing things. I have to allow for that since David Pollak said this:
But lines were jumbled without Clowe so it’s not worth my time or yours to point out the combinations on the ice unless you think Brad Winchester, Marty Havlat and Tommy Wingels will be sharing shifts. -Working the Corners
Nuthin’ but time here, so this is what I thought I saw.
Last night, Teemu Selanne scored his 66th career goal against the Sharks, in the 6th meeting this season. That’s three sixes. Lordy.
Jonas Hiller described the performance of the Ducks lately:
“Everybody is really motivated and we didn’t want to eliminate ourselves. We are still trying to play good hockey. We don’t want to just give up. That is what we did tonight, and that’s why we won.” -Sharks Talk
I thought that was interesting because lame ducks do not just give up, except on the long game. Knowing you have nothing left to lose is liberating and often frees people to do things they wouldn’t have done were they considering the next stage. But what the Ducks are doing it isn’t quite lame duck behavior.
I’ve been holding my breath about this game against the Oilers. Even after watching the Sharks run through a lengthy review session on Monday, I couldn’t find much to tell me what is likely to happen tonight. Is there ever, really, aside from who will start in goal?
As Mark Emmons tweeted, Martin Havlat was skating well yesterday morning. He participated in all the drills, even line rushes of a sort. His “line” was three guys in orange, Ferriero and Winchester being the other two. They all ran the same drills everyone else did.
McLellan spent a lot of time on instruction yesterday. He was out there talking and directing for the better part of an hour. He didn’t have the super-sized white board but I think this was pretty close to that episode.
Sluggish. Disorganized. Inexplicable. Those are just a few of the words that come to mind about last night’s game, and by association the other seven losses in the last ten games. It makes me want to ask the Sharks “are you done? Do you feel better now?” You know, the way you ask a hysterical person if they have done all the shrieking and unintelligible ranting they need to do.
Because there is no rational explanation or excuse for the degree of ineptitude displayed lately by this team. Even McLellan’s absence does not explain it, because he has only been out for the last three games. The lack of preparedness and execution we’re seeing now has been there for a while, it’s just gotten worse.
Douglas Murray called it a funk. So I looked that word up. I know what it means, but sometimes there’s more to a word than you realize. In Middle English, it meant “spark, touchwood, or tinder.” By the time Modern English came around, “funk” had changed: “a verb meaning “to panic, fail due to panic”. Perhaps from ... obsolete Flemish fonck (“distress, agitation”), from Middle Dutch fonck (“perturbation, agitation”).” This is what happens when no one uses the dictionary: we can’t even tell the difference between a useful spark and panic-induced failure.
Someone cuts McCarthy’s face. I see red. I try to remember that line so nicely spoken by Samuel L. Jackson, something about “great vengeance and furious anger.” I am incapable of delivering that, even if I am in the mood to do so.
Before I can stuff my temper back in its box, the Lightning score, taking the lead—again. But Vlasic gets a little revenge, ties it up. Then, of all improbable things, White scores a go ahead goal.
I’m dizzy with all the ups and downs of this game.
I review my list: get points, win a lot, stay healthy, pick up a forward… two out of four is not excellent.
Not good, guys.
Before the last game I was worried about some pretty routine things that do tend to happen, just not all at once on the day I talk about them. I suppose that would be different if I were writing a group itinerary, in which case writing things down would presumably be part of why they came to pass. I guess I feel like I wrote a reverse itinerary yesterday, a great big jinx.
Three games against the Canucks, three ending 3-2. In fact, the Sharks’ last three games against anyone ended 3-2. Last night, the Sharks avoided losing three games in a row, or three to the Canucks. Thornton was guilty of three turnovers. The game produced three points, one for the Canucks, two for the Sharks. The Sharks practiced three times between games against the Canucks. I haven’t counted how many times Nemo taps the posts with his stick between shootout rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s three.
All right, Sharks. FINE, you really like your threes, I get it. I’ll try not to say things to belittle or mock your faith. I still think it would be better if…. Oh, never mind. Bleeding cultists.
I don’t mind being wrong when it means the team wins. I take absolutely no joy in being right when it means the team loses. I wasn’t sure the Sharks would lose to the Canucks last night, but I was really very certain it would not end 3-2. Whatev.
Friday the Sharks had a long practice, were on the ice for about 90 minutes. They seemed to be working on the power play in particular. Nitty and Greiss shared one net, Nemo had the other.
Someone yelled “*#$%@&!” but I was looking the wrong way to know who it was. I think maybe it was Greiss because there was a puck in his net, but it didn’t exactly sound like him. Then again, I don’t hear him yelling anything a lot out there so I couldn’t be sure. I don’t think the children heard it.
Seeing Boyle looking well and playing well made me glad, a reassuring feeling like when you have a paycheck in your pocket or a full tank of gas. Everything felt okay.
Well that was a strange thing to be thinking, what with the Sharks having lost those two games, those two terribly important games to end the home stand. It should feel like being on the losing side at the Alamo, not reassuring at all. But it didn’t, it didn’t feel like the last stand before the end of the world as we know it.
Thanks to a special shark fin turnover recipe, the Ducks came back to life and won a road game. It was a Boxing Day miracle, possibly the first on record:
@PollakOnSharks: “Perspective: Ducks have won 10 of 35 games this season, three against #sjsharks. Of only three Anaheim road wins, two are at HP Pavilion.”
Ugh. What more can I say? There was Colin White’s disappearance. He played a little over 8 minutes, and not at all in the third. That bodes ill. Who would have guessed the Sharks would need more than eight defensemen? Beyond that, let me refer you to Fear the Fin, Working the Corners, and Sharks Talk for all the gory details of how the Sharks lost yet again to the Ducks.
The sidebar story to the Sharks losing is that someone brought a dead duck into the Tank, held onto it through two periods and two intermissions, and threw it on the ice during the third. Eeeee-yuck.
Martin Havlat is out of the Sharks lineup, no one knows for how long:
@markedwinemmons: “Todd McLellan said don’t expect to see Marty Havlat back until at least after Christmas. That means at least two games out.”
@KKurzCSN: “Havlat out at least through this weekend. Surgery? “At this point, not that I know of,” said McLellan.”
So Benn Obi-Wan Ferriero is back, just in time for the holiday roster freeze. If he plays one more NHL game he loses his waiver exempt status. Isn’t it time anyway? The Sharks could have called up Wingels if they wanted to use someone who could be sent back safely. The curious case of Benn Ferriero might be close to resolution.
Will he stay for an extended period? Get traded? Sent back down? Would he clear waivers? Doug Wilson didn’t comment on the long term plan for Ferriero, why would he? There are many possibilities. NHL rosters have to function as on multiple timelines, in several alternate universes. In one universe, Ferriero is in Carolina, in another he’s right here on San Jose’s third line, in another he’s back in Worcester, and then there’s the universe populated entirely by shrimp where he has to work as a salt water filtration technician.
It took me a lot longer than I expected to get back online after the trip to Vancouver. The access was there (even at the Vancouver airport, so very nice of them!), but I couldn’t think clearly at all. I was distracted by things like what it means that I’m watching a hockey game on my phone in an airport waiting room while a young man in hiking boots across from me is knitting. Am I sexist for noticing that? Was that legitimately unusual or am I an old fuddy-duddy? In any case, the whole moving from place to place left me disoriented and I’m still a little fuzzy.
The Sharks have announced their Black Friday sale. That would be coming up on Black Friday, which is Friday. Everything except jerseys will be marked down 30%, and jersey customization will be available on site for $65.
I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a place to watch Sharks or Flyers games the first day I was here. I spoke to bartenders, hostesses, a hotel concierge and one bar-restaurant manager, and none could answer me the simple question: where can I watch a Sharks/Flyers game?
Answers I received:
-“We might show that if it’s on CBC and nothing else is on. But I can’t promise anything.”
-“Right upstairs”, to which upstairs responded “what channel is it on? Oh, no, we only show Canadian teams.” To which downstairs retorted “I used to work upstairs, I know they have a lot more hockey channels than we do down here.”
I did not go back upstairs to pursue this matter.
Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, antti+niemi, brad+winchester, colin+white, jason+demers, marc-edouard+vlasic, todd+mclellan, travel
Tonight the Sharks play the Coyotes. Greiss will be in net. Wow. I mean yay! and also wow. Maybe the Coyotes games will be Greiss’ games this season?
The Coyotes are in 8th place in the Western Conference right now. That’s four spots behind the Sharks but only two points behind. I could say the Coyotes are nipping at the Sharks’ heels but sharks don’t have feet.
I don’t think many people thought Mike Smith was a great replacement for Ilya Bryzgalov, but considering Bryz was given the elite streets of gold treatment last Summer, I don’t think replacing him was ever in the cards for the Coyotes. But I also think a lot of people underestimate Smith. He made a pretty good showing in the playoffs for Tampa Bay. Combined with the Yotes’ tendency to show up and work hard, Smith and company might be one of those teams you have to be very careful not to take for granted, even if your last meeting was a blow-out in your favor. Remember the 3rd, Sharks, remember the 3rd!
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: colin+white, dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, douglas+murray, jason+demers, justin+braun, marc-edouard+vlasic, mike+smith, minnesota+wild, phoenix+coyotes, todd+mclellan
The Minnesota Wild are here. It seems strange for that to be an alarming thing, but surprise, surprise they’ve won 5 in a row. Their penalty kill and their goalies are vying for bestest ever in the universe. Yes, the sky could fall.
That pk has been perfect for at least 5 games in a row, 21 or 23 successful penalty kills or something. But against who? Eeek! The Red Wings? Twice in a row no less? And the Canucks? Nobody panic. The Wild were feasting on the bleeding body of a Red Wings losing streak. The Canucks? Well who knows with them. Also the Blues fell in there, shortly before their coach was fired, and the Flames are in a muddle too. Also, the Minny power play hasn’t been as strong as the penalty kill. So, that five game winning streak and flawless penalty kill might be misleading. Certainly Yeo seems to think so, he was not happy with the team in their 3-0 shutout last night:
@Russostrib: Yeo very unhappy with #mnwiId play tonight - scoring chances allowed, penalties taken, lack of physicality”
Here’s what’s been said about last night’s game against the LA Kings: “Sharks hold court over Kings in 4-2 win,” “Sharks learn from mistakes, trump Kings 4-2,” “San Jose Sharks defeat Los Angeles Kings 4-2.” Now that’s more like it, Sharks.
During the second intermission, I heard a man say behind me “3-1, huh? Isn’t that what the score was last time…” But another man cut him off saying “What the hell… saying that…. What are you trying to do?!?”
I kept telling myself “lightning never strikes the same spot twice, right?” Of course we all know that isn’t true, especially if you set up a lightning rod.
Tonight’s lineup features Vlasic’s return but no Burns, the second line on top (minus Havlat, plus Ferriero) and a new mix of lower lines: McCarthy-Desjardins-Wingels, Mashinter-Guite-MacIntyre. Oh, and the McGinn-Handzus-Mitchell line which isn’t at all new.
Nemo was back on the ice for practice. Praise the hockey gods. Petrecki is also ready to play, after quietly finishing hip rehab. I wondered where he was disappearing to during scrimmages. He will be with Vlasic, Braun with Vandermeer and White with Demers. I keep seeing White listed as “C White” instead of just “White.” I know we had another White last season but let it go already, Colin is our new White, I think it is safe to just say “White.”
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: brodie+reid, colin+white, james+livingston, marc-edouard+vlasic, marek+viedensky, matt+irwin, mike+connolly, nick+petrecki, pre-season, taylor+doherty, thomas+greiss
Sunday morning, Sharks Ice
I spent Saturday feeling like a rat in a kitchen, and I don’t mean an “ooh goody I found a bag of oatmeal next to this big wheel of cheese” happy rat. For the record, no one tried to stomp me, it was just a state of mind I get into when I’m in new situations. That level of crazy has subsided, partly because there is nothing scheduled that might involve me falling into a situation that is so insanely foreign to me that I start chewing on the walls. Another part of it is: they let me back in. I guess I didn’t break anything.
I’m sorry I don’t have a decent report from yesterday. I actually wrote a lot about that but it all boiled down to a drawn-out scream of “what am I doing here?” and had nothing to do with the Sharks. You can’t choose which part of the lake they throw you into, and you can’t learn to swim any faster for being thrown in the deep end. First time in the water, not drowning is a win.
Today it is almost like normal me being at practice, except that I don’t absolutely have to sit on the cold benches by the rink. I probably will go out there anyway, because not being able to hear the skating gives me the jitters. I ventured into the building without a coat. It’s like running around naked.